Pretty good advice

February 25, 2008

Kiwi culture is something I have to readjust to everytime I visit my land of birth. New slang and expressions demand translation and explanation. christians often have had a name for running behind the times. Many of us grew up hearing prayers and Bible readings in 17th century english – as if somehow that was more spiritual. So it’s refreshing to see and hear the same old gospel being expressed to today’s generation in the language of the street – which is actually how Jesus spoke, in common Aramaic.
Billboards around Auckland city carry short pithy comments from God, such as the one here in the photo. Another said: “I miss the way you used to talk to me when you were a kid. – God”
Our brief furlough has come to an end, a great time of catching up with family and friends. One old friend from student days has produced a Kiwi Bible, published by Penguin Books. It’s not the full 66 books or anything, but interprets key passages ‘in the language of the Kiwi bloke’ , as one reviewer puts it.
So, since I’ve been busy packing bags and saying goodbyes, I’m going to let my friend Chris Grantham tell you about ten fairly basic rules God gave us to live by.
CG: Exodus is the second book of the Bible, coming hot on the heels of Genesis. It tells the story of the people of Israel who became a fairly large crowd oppressed by the Egyptians, who treated them like dirt. It was time to get outta there. This is where Moses came in handy – God used him to get them outta there. Exodus tells a fair bit of that story, some of the stupid stuff they got up to and all. If you want to read that, check out a longer Bible. Here, all we’ve got space for is one of the most well-known bits of Exodus, when God gave Moses a bunch of rules that are commonly known as the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:17)
God said, ‘Get a load of this. I’m God, your God the one that got you lot out of Egypt – that place where you were slaving your guts out. So here’s the deal:
1. You can’t have any other gods – there’s me and that’s it.
Don’t try and make yourselves any home-made gods of any description, whether they look like angels, fish or anything. Get it? Trying to worship any such thing is an absolute no-no. I’m God and I intend to keep it that way. Finito. Anyone who tries me on, gives me the raspberry or whatever, well its gong to make life totally stink for their grandkids and then some – because they’ll end up wearing the consequences. On the other hand, those who do what I say, well, I’ll look after them and their lot for a thousand years – and then some.
Don’t take the mickey out of God’s name in any way, shape or form. God won’t have a bar of it.
Remember that Saturday’s a special day. Keep it that way OK? By all means, work your guts out the rest of the week to do what you need to do. But the last day of the week – that’s a special day for your God – kind of a mini-sabbatical really. So, no working that day – this applies to you, your better half, your kids and your whanau (extended family). Even your animals get a day off, along with any homestays you might currently be hosting. You see, it’s like this: God spent six days making this whole amazing outfit, but then he took a day off on the Saturday. So he decided to make it a special day, the first example of a public holiday.
Respect your olds – it does wonders for your life expectancy in this here place God has laid on for you.
Murder’s a no-no.
No having it off with someone else-s spouse or anything remotely similar.
No nicking what ain’t yours.
No telling lies against the bloke or blokess next door.
Don’t try thinking that you’d like what the guy next door has got – whether it’s his wife or the sheila who works for him, his farming gear or his vehicle. It’s his, not yours, get it?

Till next week – from Holland,

Till next week,


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